Debate Club

Newt Gingrich Has No Self-Interested Reason to Drop Out...Yet

By + More

Even though Newt Gingrich lost to Rick Santorum in last night's two southern contests (Alabama and Mississippi), was too disorganized to qualify for the ballot in the state in which he now resides (Virginia), has won only his home state of Georgia and South Carolina, and has earned only about 12 percent of the delegates needed to win the nomination, he has no reason to withdraw from the presidential race this month.

Unless, of course, one considers the conservative cause to which Gingrich professes support a reason. As Santorum has noted, Gingrich is "making it hard" for him to win the nomination.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Newt Gingrich.]

But since Gingrich's only real cause is securing his place in history as a "visionary leader" and the conservative savior of the Republican Party in the post-Reagan period, he might as well stay around for a while and continue to bask in the harsh glow of the national media spotlight.

As Kellyanne Conway, a pollster and strategist for Gingrich's campaign, explained, "When you've been thinking about running for president for many years, and you've been running for a couple of years, what's three more weeks, or even three more months?"

[See photos of Newt Gingrich.]

Besides, his campaign will surely able to sustain the rationale for his candidacy and underwrite his electoral activities at least through the end of March. By besting Romney and placing second in Alabama and Mississippi yesterday, Gingrich can claim that he's running ahead of the Republican front-runner among conservatives. He can also suggest that he and Santorum offer different conservative alternatives (namely, ideas versus morals) to Romney; as such it's better for both of them to remain in the race. With the Louisiana primary on March 24, he can further argue that he has a good shot at winning the state and that it would be foolish to exit before then. Even if his official campaign is running short on funds, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has likely provided Gingrich's super PAC with enough monies for Gingrich's candidacy to exist on air (television), if nowhere else for a few more weeks.

Gingrich possesses sufficient legitimacy, and he has no self-interested reason to drop out just yet. On April 3, the nomination race shifts back toward more northern states and more winner-take-all contests. By May, Gingrich, the historian, will likely make his transition to history.

Lara Brown

About Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'

Tags
Gingrich, Newt
2012 presidential election

Other Arguments

#2
36 Pts
Santorum Has Earned the Right for This to Be a Two-Man Race

Yes – Santorum Has Earned the Right for This to Be a Two-Man Race

Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst

#3
25 Pts
By Staying in the Race, Gingrich Helps Romney

Yes – By Staying in the Race, Gingrich Helps Romney

Matthew Dickinson Professor at Middlebury College

#4
9 Pts
Gingrich Has Virtually No Chance of Winning

Yes – Gingrich Has Virtually No Chance of Winning

Ron Bonjean Former Chief of Staff for the Senate Republican Conference

#5
5 Pts
Gingrich Can't Win If He Doesn't Play

No – Gingrich Can't Win If He Doesn't Play

David Crockett Author of 'Running Against the Grain: How Opposition Candidates Win Presidential Elections'

#7
-9 Pts
Only Newt Gingrich Gets to Decide When He Drops Out

No – Only Newt Gingrich Gets to Decide When He Drops Out

Krystal Ball MSNBC Contributor and Former Democratic Nominee for Congress in the First District of Virginia

#8
-10 Pts
Newt Gingrich Needs to Stay in the Race

No – Newt Gingrich Needs to Stay in the Race

Judson Phillips Founder of Tea Party Nation

You Might Also Like


See More